by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
archives, history, look back, techdirt

This Week In Techdirt History: November 23 - 29

from the looking-back dept

Five Years Ago:

ESPN suspended Bill Simmons (from Twitter) for calling someone deceitful. Huh. That sounds familiar. ACS:Law, which was the UK version of Prenda before Prenda existed was just ramping up. Spam King Alan Ralsky was sent to jail. Microsoft was trying to shut someone up after they revealed some "flaws" in Microsoft's plan to bribe users to use Bing instead of Google. Speaking of Bing, Rupert Murdoch was toying with the idea of taking News Corp. sites out of Google's search results if Microsoft paid him enough. And Hulu was furious that people were actually embedding its videos, despite the fact that Hulu provided tools to embed.

We looked at how Hollywood was really at fault for a significant part of movie piracy, by not giving users what they wanted. Similarly, we looked at how the recording industry spent so much on payola to get people to hear their music for free -- and yet were so angry about piracy, which got people to hear their music for free. Speaking of Hollywood, the heads of the big studios had pretty much all settled on a new talking point: that they were really concerned about the independent filmmaker, rather than big studios when ti came to piracy. Of course, more indie films were being made than ever before, and those indie filmmakers now have many more ways to get supported than ever before, so that rang pretty hollow. And, a record label exec was arrested for not using Twitter to ask Justin Bieber fans to disperse.

We were celebrating Wil Wheaton saying people should "get excited and make things" rather than griping about how business models and such were changing online. Meanwhile, we highlighted some research about how copying and imitation are actually quite good for society, even if people think they're bad.

Ten Years Ago:

We were talking about how there were over 400 companies selling "VoIP" offerings, and wondering how they could possibly survive (spoilers: they didn't). The first case we'd heard of where scammers were trying to sneak malware through banner ads on popular sites. Unfortunately, this remains an issue today. People were starting to realize that stores like Best Buy were really showrooms for Amazon. And a court told the MPAA that it couldn't lump a bunch of unrelated file sharing lawsuits into the same case.

Also, ten years ago, Perfect 10 sued Google for showing thumbnails of some of its porn images hosted on other sites. That case would result in one of Perfect 10's many courtroom losses, and also set a good precedent concerning fair use. Also, ten years ago Congress started pushing for a new job in the White House, the IP Enforcement Coordinator -- a role they finally pushed through as part of the ProIP Act in 2008 (with the job coming into existence in 2009).

Fifteen Years Ago:

Ah, such a quaint time. We were excited about the possibility of paying bills online (seriously). This was the era of the "free ISP," though the catch was that if you used them, you had to deal with ads from them. So we found it interesting that a new one was launching, and its main selling point was that it was a free ISP with no ads. Instead, they hoped you'd buy stuff from their e-commerce store. Media merger potential is always in the news, so fifteen years ago, Time Warner as looking to buy NBC. Oh, and remember when AOL was so powerful that it could be evil without consequence? In order to ramp up its business of spamming its own users, AOL claimed that all of the opt-outs from spam had "expired" and users had to re-opt-out to avoid being spammed by AOL partners in the future. How nice. No wonder people started leaving in droves soon after.

Forty two years ago:

Atari released Pong, the first "commercially successful video game" kicking off the start of the video game revolution. Two years ago, on the 40th anniversary, Buzzfeed published an astoundingly wonderful history of Atari and Pong. Go read it.

Reader Comments

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2014 @ 9:28am

    I don't know if this exists already, but I want a website that tracks the different aspects of a story from multiple sources from start to end, like a timeline mixed with a mindmap with links to all the internet articles and sources.

    I wanted to find out what happened to the record exec for not tweeting. I found articles about the incident, but I had to instinctively search for the keywords "charges dropped" to find an article that followed up on the story and told the ending.

    Tagging on some websites will work for this purpose, but it's not consistent. Wikipedia only works for this purpose if the editors think a story is relevant.

    For those who are curious, the charges were dropped and Bieber made a PSA about cyberbullying (cause that was relevant to a mall crowd and twitter).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 29 Nov 2014 @ 10:55am

      5 hours ago today...

      an Anonymous Coward noted how search engines still suck.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2014 @ 1:48pm


      I tend to avoid Google so maybe I'm missing something, but... They've got the "Time Slider" in Google Earth and "Custom [date/time] Range" for filtering regular search results. How hard would it be for them to combine the two? Yeah, the UI and interaction might be a bit hard to nail down, but it's not like they're lacking in resources.

      I'm not even thinking of a "mind map" organization, just a swank way to see sequential blocks of results based on time ranges. In fact, this seems so simple that I'm gonna assume that it's another case of me missing the bleeding obvious.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2014 @ 3:57pm

    Speaking of VoIP providers, do any offer texting service? Looking to ditch Google Voice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2014 @ 5:12pm

    Jane was really at fault for a significant part of John raping her, by not giving John what he wanted.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bobby b, 30 Nov 2014 @ 6:35pm

    Wow, you're really triggering old, old memories.

    I was an early adopter for Pong.

    And fire. First in my neighborhood with fire.

    Both were a big hit at parties, until everybody got them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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